Written by Matt Sha on August 25, 2021
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced lockdowns, bodily distancing, and public well being pointers making social connection—an important piece of the psychological well being puzzle—more and more tough. Previous to COVID-19, and the social adjustments that got here together with it, male suicide charges had been already excessive and rising leading to an incredible trigger for concern.
Through the UBC Lowering Male Suicide (RMS) Digital Panel, “Getting upstream to forestall male suicide”, we heard from three researchers from the RMS cluster:
- Paul Hyperlinks is a professor within the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster College
- Francine Darroch is an assistant professor at Carleton College and an affiliate professor at UBC within the Faculty of Nursing
- John Ogrodniczuk is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the UBC Psychotherapy Program
Dr. Paul Hyperlinks mentioned his revealed overview wanting on the relationship between infectious disease-related public well being emergencies, such because the 1918 Influenza pandemic, and the outcomes of suicide behaviour and suicide. He famous that there does appear to be a hyperlink between pandemics and the elevated threat of suicide-related outcomes. Moreover, Dr. Hyperlinks left us with a query given the present normalization of telehealth: “We already know that typically we now have hassle working with males who’re in danger, assessing them, as a result of we all know we miss the cues of males. How will we do [virtual care] successfully?”.
Dr. Francine Darroch detailed the connection between bodily exercise and psychological well being from her analysis, which goals to “leverage bodily exercise to enhance high quality of life and supply psychosocial advantages”. Nevertheless, she mentions that the pandemic has created “unprecedented limitations to bodily exercise entry”, particularly for people dwelling in marginalizing circumstances who’ve skilled a “big lower in entry to in-person providers”. The outcome has been a rise in sedentary behaviour, which in return has impacts on psychological well being.
But, there may be nonetheless hope in these tough occasions.
Dr. John Ogrodniczuk shared about his latest experiences with males reaching out to him:
“I believe one of many issues that COVID has completed is present a chance to have conversations about psychological well being in a approach that we haven’t earlier than and that’s actually essential”
He continued by mentioning, “Persons are getting the message, guys particularly, with my non-public apply lots of guys are reaching out with easy messages: ‘I believe it’s time for me to speak to any person, I don’t know the place to go, are you able to assist?’”. Though many people felt remoted and disconnected in the course of the pandemic, these uncommon occasions sparked a dialog between guys about their psychological well being and reaching out for skilled assist.
Moreover, Dr. Ogrodniczuk provides, “It’s a tough factor for guys, however I believe with the entire conversations which can be occurring now due to COVID, it has opened up the door a bit bit extra for them”.
Hear the total dialog with Dr. Hyperlinks, Dr. Darroch, & Dr. Ogrodniczuk